Chapter 9 Dream or Dreamless

The Hogwarts Hurricane

Chapter 9: Dream or Dreamless

Albus found it easy enough to sleep, though Riley and Adam were conversing endlessly that Albus seriously believed that they’d still be talking when he awoke the next morning. When he did wake up; however, he found them fast asleep. He looked over for a fifth bed to make absolutely sure that he wasn’t dreaming, and he wouldn’t wake up and find that the exchange students haven’t arrived yet. Better yet, if he could wake up and find school didn’t start yet.

Albus couldn’t lie to himself though. No one knew how grateful he was that Lorcan made Slytherin. He could tell that Harry wished he made Gryffindor like the rest of the family. He knew Harry kept his word, and didn’t think less of Albus, but it was obvious too that he thought Albus was better off in Gryffindor. Albus had to be honest with himself, he agreed. He and Scorpius would’ve both been better off in Gryffindor house.

Before Scorpius or Riley could wake up and initiate conversation with anyone, or worse yet argue, Albus walked downstairs tiredly. He threw himself in an armchair, and stared up into space. How he wished things were a little different. When he first heard of the exchange students, he didn’t know what to think, but now he wished he’d just have a normal year at Hogwarts. The year before, which was a fiasco when going through it, looked more tempting now.

“What’re you doing up?” a soft voice asked. It was a female and it sounded a familiar with a familiar nasal sound in her nose. It was Samantha Mold. Last he saw her, Samantha was wearing pig tails on her side. Now, her hair was let down and fell past her shoulder.

“I gotta wake up eventually,” Albus shrugged.

Samantha looked at her watch. Albus remembered guiltily that he forgot his watch upstairs, and didn’t even bother looking at the time. “It’s six. We don’t have classes yet.” Albus didn’t answer. He didn’t know how to answer. He didn’t know why, but Samantha rendered Albus speechless. Samantha continued staring through her wide eyes at him. “Walt told me about you.”

“What did he say?’ Albus found himself asking, though he really didn’t care.

“Said you were cool,” Samantha shrugged. “But Malcolm also told me about you.”

“He loathes me,” Albus guessed correctly.

Samantha didn’t answer. Albus wanted badly to get up and go, but before he could think up a viable excuse, Samantha talked again. “What do you think of the exchange students? You got an Egyptian in your dormitory, right? Is he good?”

Albus shrugged. He was liking the girl less and less. She was innocently asking a simple question, and he had to be honest with himself and admit he didn’t know why, but he just didn’t like her. He never liked to judge based on looks, but this girl was disgusting. She was so severely skinny it wasn’t even funny and not only that, but she didn’t smell too good either.

Deciding that her looks did not matter though, especially seeing as how Joel Herbert could tolerate her, he continued with the conversation. “He’s ok. Only responsive though.”

“Well, you have today to work that out,” Samantha said happily. “Malcolm reckons classes are cancelled today to give us that opportunity.”

“Cancelled?” Albus repeated. “No, they wouldn’t”

Albus was walking toward the snake hole when he stopped dead. The notice board in the Common room had a note attached to it and this note surprised Albus. How did James manage to do that? He was not on good terms with Mark to use Walter like that. James of course had his own ways of going about matters. The exchange student Jimmy Kat became someone like his spokesperson and Nigel Creevey took to writing on boards all over Hogwarts, including notice boards where anyone could post anything.

Hogwarts,

Hello one and all! This is Nigel Creevey speaking on behalf of James Potter and I have grave news for all of you. The devil lurks among these walls. Yes, you read correctly. There seems to be great tension flowing throughout the school regarding cultural barriers and differences amongst students.

This is why we’re exercising our power in numbers by declaring a social war in Hogwarts this year. Whoever ends up in this social warfare will receive a note from yours truly informing you of the trouble that lies ahead. We exercise this right because of the tension residing in these walls. We are aware this may worsen frosting relations so we will address this issue as well.

Concerning how this may exacerbate everything, we really do not care. This is your punishment for being idiots. Not everyone is under threat; however, you can moderate behavior and sign up with Jimmy Kat to receive immunity in return for support and cooperation in our campaign to stop the tension flowing throughout the castle.

Whoever fails to do so will of course find themselves in the line of fire. This will happen not explicitly but implicitly and you won’t be able to pin if we’re involved, or how we are.

We hate to do this, but some students in Hogwarts have left us with no choice, namely those in the year below us. Those familiar with the dynamics of Gryffindor house will know. This misery shall spread until all parties seize and desist their bullying immediately. We’re the only ones allowed to bully.

“Is James supposed to be your brother?” Samantha asked from beside him.

Albus flinched in surprise and then turned to face her. If she was going to lash out at her brother, he then knew why he did not like her. “He is my brother.”

“Well, no offense meant but why is he getting the entire school involved in something stupid like some Gryffindor student?”

“Oh, shut up,” Albus muttered tiredly, slowly feeling his anger taking hold. “You’re one to talk, you know. Your brother gives hell to”-

“Yeah, ok, I get it,” Samantha interrupted. “Sorry.” She turned away and started back toward the staircase down to the dorms before stopping. “Oh, and classes are cancelled today, Al.”

They parted with that tense note hanging with Samantha walking back to her dormitory. Albus wandered himself into the Great Hall indifferent to the threat. He knew that no teacher would allow these notices to be stay up for long. Phoenix would deal with it and if he didn’t, all the more power to James. He couldn’t care less. He was James’ brother and he knew James was doing this to take revenge on Mark for his attitude the previous summer.

A few students were already in the Hall, including Carl and his American friend. Albus walked over to the table, without knowing why he was there. Carl and Ben looked up at him. Ben smirked, “Hey, kid.”

“What do you want?” Carl asked.

“I heard a rumor classes were cancelled today,” Albus shrugged. “Is it true, or am I hearing things?”

Carl didn’t answer immediately, but Ben laughed. He shook his head, making Albus feel quite stupid. Then again, it was a stupid question. “They never cancel classes. Why would Britain be any different than the U.S. of A.?”

Carl looked down at the empty plate. “Actually, classes are cancelled. I think they expect us to get to know the exchange students better. Didn’t you offer a dorm to one of those kids?”

Albus’ feet took him two steps back, “Yeah, but he’s asleep.”

“Well, go back to sleep, kid,” Ben said, turning back to Carl to reinitiate conversation. “If there are no classes in this country.”

Albus found himself feeling sleepy all of a sudden. He guessed he didn’t notice it before because he was improvising his steps since he woke up. He left Carl and Ben Franken laughing and walked back to the common room and down to his dormitory. He threw himself into bed, and closed his eyes.

Albus wasn’t sure if he ever got back to sleep that morning, because what seemed like a second later, he heard Scorpius shouting at Riley. Adam was gazing at them, hair falling over his eyes. It seemed he was woken up by their yelling. Albus felt very foolish then, because he remembered offering the dormitory hoping that Scorpius and Riley would put up a good room for their guest. Now, they were yelling.

Albus looked over at Adam. For some reason, Albus felt awake. More awake than he usually felt when he woke up. “Can you shut them up? I’m only second-year.”

Adam took out a dinky wooden wand. It was bent and twisted as natural wood, it might as well have been a branch from a tree. It proved to work though, when Adam muttered something Albus didn’t recognize. Scorpius was thrown back, and he hit the wall. Adam ran in between them. Riley showed his bare teeth to Adam and Scorpius angrily. Then, Adam widened his eyes in apparent fear. He stepped three giant steps back, shaking in fear. Riley had frightened him.

Albus opened his eyes a minute later and found the dormitory empty except for Scorpius half asleep on his own bed. Was that a dream? It had seemed so real. Scorpius, upon sensing Albus awake, forced himself up and rubbed his eyes, looking for that second very young indeed.

“Argued with Riley earlier,” Scorpius said apologetically. “Did we wake you up?”

“Were you yelling?” Albus yawned tiredly.

“Probably,” Scorpius shrugged. “I lost track of tone. But either way, he started it.” They were walking out of the common room to the dungeons. Scorpius and Albus walked outside to the Great Hall, and Scorpius leaned over to Albus and whispered, “I think Riley is mentally challenged. I’m not kidding.”

“Did Adam stop you guys?” Albus noticed, immediately realizing how stupid his question was. Scorpius laughed too and Albus grinned guiltily. He, Albus was not that stupid to get Adam involved with any issue when he was told not to. No, that had to have been a dream. As a matter of fact, that whole morning adventure of Samantha, the notice and even Carl and Ben might have been a dream too. The note did seem a little weird anyway.

Scorpius shook his head, going on with his complaints, “I don’t think Riley cares anymore.”

As if remembering from a past life, Albus remembered Mark’s words the year before while they were in the hospital wing recovering from a duel they both had. A duel in which both cancelled each other out.

Lazy and uncaring toward everything.

A loud laugh sounded from behind them, waking Albus up from his recall of Mark’s words. Alex and Eric were standing there, smirking. “Mentally challenged. Interesting theory.”

“Shove off, Wallaby,” Albus scowled, and he and Scorpius pushed past them, taking care to shove in between them just to piss them off. Albus couldn’t get the wide eyed Adam out of his mind though. Was that a dream? What was he so scared about? Riley might have been mean that year, but he was not exactly scary. That had to have been a dream, thw question was if the notice on the board, Samantha and Carl and Ben was a dream.

Then, it hit Albus. Mark’s attempt to get Albus in trouble with Harry and prove a point with Scorpius… failed; Mark’s attempt to split them up the year before… failed. This was simply another attempt. There was no motivation behind it. Mark just annoyed Riley somehow, blackmailed him in a way Albus didn’t know or care about, and proved his ultimate point.

Lazy and uncaring toward everything.

If that was truly his purpose in annoying Riley, it was certainly working. It was splitting the entire dormitory up. Albus’ idea of getting Adam in was the only way around it. If he could just increase friendship and liking between Scorpius and Adam, Scorpius might be calmer just to look good in front of someone abroad. It had to help that this someone was British by blood.

But that doesn’t explain the conversation he had with Riley went the part of his head that usually spoke in Rose’s voice.

That of course was assuming Mark didn’t get to Adam first, or somehow provoke tensions. However, just as Albus and Scorpius reached the Entrance hall, they spotted Phoenix reprimanding James and Scorpius smirked, “Mark told him off about something. Not sure what but it was something about illegal notices. Heard from Walter, apparently his little sister told him.”

Forget Mark, how did news travel so quickly? So, it wasn’t a dream. Oh, I give up. This is too complicated. Just forget about it. Embroil yourself too much and you’ll only regret it. Ignore him. What is his angle?

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